New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ to discuss the ongoing showdown between the students and administration of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and what steps the ministry is taking to resolve it, ThePrint has learnt.
The meeting assumes significance because JNU students have alleged police atrocities during their protests, and the Delhi Police is directly controlled by the home ministry.
Students have been protesting since the beginning of November against the JNU administration’s decision to hike hostel fees and charges, saying the move will result in a lot of students being forced to leave the institute. The fee hike will also make JNU the costliest central university.
After continuous protests, the administration decided to partially roll back the hostel fee hike, but students were still unhappy and continued their protests, following which a committee was formed to look into the matter.
‘Govt is concerned’
Sources said this is the first time Shah has taken stock of the JNU situation and asked the HRD ministry to take concrete steps and put an end to the agitation.
“The meeting explored ways to find a resolution to the issue. The government is concerned over the matter and the negative press that it has got in the media, especially social media,” a home ministry source told ThePrint.
“The home minister has asked the HRD ministry to resolve the issue at the earliest. He was informed that a committee has already been formed to look into the entire issue,” the source said.
The HRD ministry had set up a high-powered committee, which has already initiated a dialogue with the administration, students, hostel representatives and teachers.
A senior HRD official told ThePrint: “A meeting between the high-powered committee of HRD and JNU students took place in a very cordial climate Wednesday at Shastri Bhawan. It ended on a very positive note.”
The official added: “Committee members have appealed to the students to restore normalcy on the campus. They have also agreed to meet the students again Friday at the JNU campus to find solutions to the current issue.”